Ford C-Max Owners Get Free Electric Car Charging

The price at the pumps might be falling, but the cost of gasoline is still more expensive than charging an electric car.  If the prospects of saving money at the pumps with an electric car isn’t savings enough, Ford is taking the savings bonanza one step further…FREE. 

Tesla has offered free charging at its network of Supercharger DC fast charging stations and Level 2 AC stations, while Nissan has also offered free charging as a promotion in order to drive customers into their showrooms.  And now Ford is getting in on the free charge.  Ford will offer its EV 1-2-3 charge card.  Residents, who live in California or Maryland, who purchase or lease a 2016 Ford C-Max Energi plug in hybrid, will be granted free access to more than 500 public charging stations for the next three years.

The EV 1-2-3 card was developed in partnership with the NRG eVgo charging network.  It will be mailed to C-Max Energi owners who purchase or lease their vehicles between October 1, 2015 and October 1, 2016.  Once your active your card, it can then be used for 240 volt Level 2 AC charging at participating stations.  Participating stations must be operated by NRG eVgo and the Sema Connect network in California and/or Maryland.

Ford estimates that it takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge a C-Max Energi.  The C-Max has a 7.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack inside.
The C-Max Energi has an EPA rated electric range of 20 miles.  And other than an enlarged battery pack, the C-Max Energi shares its other powertrain components with the non-plug-in C-Max Hybrid.  So when it's not running on electric power, the Energi uses a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine for propulsion and to generate electricity.

Starting sometime in December, Ford will begin to upload location information for EV 1-2-3 Charge program on its MyFordMobile app and website.  This should make it easier for drivers to find participating stations.  And those stations will be identified by a pink-colored icon in the system, which is integrated with the C-Max's optional Sync 3 infotainment system.

MyFordMobile also allows certain functions--like scheduling charging times--to be done remotely, and allows drivers to check charge status, gas mileage, and driving efficiency from their phones.

At this point, it is unclear if Ford will be expanding the EV 1-2-3 Charge program to states other than California or Maryland.  It is also unclear whether the company will begin to offer the EV 1-2-3 Charge program for their other two plug in models-the Fusion Energi plug in hybrid and Focus Electric.  But one thing is clear, residents of California and Maryland just got themselves an added incentive to go green.

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